Arlenis Sierra chasing another victory, Katia Ragusa and Olga Shekel also in the race
From 20 to 23 of February the Astana Women’s Team will be in Spain to make its seasonal debut in Europe: the Italian-Kazakh team will in fact be at the start of the fourth edition of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, a short stage race that will offer mixed routes with opportunities for both sprinters and climbers. The race will begin with an easy stage between Gandia and Cullera which should end in a bunch sprint, but the next day there will be the most demanding stage with two first-category mountains and the finish line up to Finestrat, a climb of 4.2 km at 4.6% average gradient but with hardest slopes in the final. After another ideal day for sprinters, the climbs will return to the scene in the fourth and final stage although the last 40 kilometers will be on downhill and flat.
The Astana Women’s Team had participated in the first two editions of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and the best memories are from 2017 when Arlenis Sierra won a stage in Alicante and was second in the final general classification: the Cuban rider started strong the 2020 with excellent results in Australia, and will therefore try to take advantage of her good condition to hunt another success on Spanish roads. Katia Ragusa and Olga Shekel are also in good shape: the Italian competed in Australia obtaining some good results, the Ukrainian recently won the Grand Prix Gazipasa in Turkey racing with her national team.
To complete the line-up of the Astana Women’s Team for this Setmana Ciclista Valenciana there will also be the Cuban Yeima Torres at her seasonal debut, the Ukrainian Marina Ivanyuk and the Mexican Yareli Salazar, an important element in the lead-out for the sprints of Arlenis Sierra.
1st stage: Gandia – Cullera (103 km)
2nd stage: Agost – Finestrat (126 km)
3rd stage: Valencia – Sagunt (94 km)
4th stage: Betxi – Vila-Real (140 km)